Annual 5K to kickoff Turkey Bowl events


Runners from last year’s Turkey Bowl 5K Run make their way toward the finish line. Photo: Photo Services

On your mark, get set, gobble! The 26th annual Turkey Bowl 5K Run will kickoff tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Alumni Stadium.

The event, which is sponsored by the Alumni Association, was originally conceived 26 years ago primarily for people who enjoyed running. But since that time, the race has evolved into a run with a reason, according to Mr. Jonathan Pait, manager of events and services for the Alumni Association.

“It’s morphed into an event that helps raise money for the Demonstrative Need Scholarship Fund, which is for students with financial need,” Mr. Pait said.

Participants in the race will include current students, as well as alumni and their families. In recent years, the popularity of the race has exploded. According to Mr. Pait, in the last five years participation in the 5K has gone from around 150 runners to around 575 last year. More than 200 people registered for the race before Nov. 1 this year, and hundreds of others are expected to sign up before the big day.

But you don’t necessarily have to be a great runner to take part in the run. “I’m always surprised at how many people will just come and walk,” Mr. Pait said. He said that participants enjoy being with other people and that the 5K is good way to begin a healthy habit.

Senior nursing major Laurynn Gorski, who has run in the Turkey Bowl 5K for the past two years, said being able to run with her friends from school makes this race more fun than others she has competed in.

Gorski said another benefit of the race is its inexpensiveness. The cost to enter the Turkey Bowl 5K is just $10 for students and $20 for alumni, faculty and staff. (Gorski said she has paid up to $30 to run other races in the past.)

However, there is more to the 5K than just running. Mr. Pait works with volunteers to help direct participants through the course and to work at the food and beverage booths.

Over the past two decades, one society has frequently volunteered to help with the Turkey Bowl Run: Nu Delta Chi. Nu Delt member Peter Ralph, a sophomore business and technology major, helped guide runners through the course last year. “It’s nice to have people there to help navigate you through the course [even though] it’s already mapped out,” Ralph said. He said he enjoys volunteering to help with the race because it’s run for such a worthy cause.

Those interested in signing up for this year’s 5K can register tomorrow at the Activity Center up until the start of the run, although the deadline has passed to be guaranteed a free T-shirt.